Twisted Metal Season 1 Review – A wild ride through a post-apocalyptic land


Season 1



Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 3/5


Watching a show that unabashedly belongs to a different universe has its own experience. The viewing journey is full of surprises and always has fresh content coming at you. Twisted Metal’s first season runs in a similar vein. Despite being ten episodes long, this latest Peacock offering comes at you with pace and a lot of energy. The show derives its central universe from the Sony PlayStation videogame of the same. Although the maiden season follows a different storytelling format, it remains true to the nature and spirit of the game.

Anthony Mackie and Stephanie Beatriz portray the two protagonists who become unwilling buddies on a road trip in the post-apocalyptic lands of the Divided States of America. The plot primarily takes place around two decades after an incident which disabled all the electronics in the world. Civil order is disrupted and chaos erupts in the streets. To maintain a semblance of the old, comfortable society, cities wall themselves up and throw all criminals and thugs outside their boundaries. 

Thus, the divide between the “inside” and the “outside” creates two contrasting pictures. Our protagonists come somewhere in the middle of all this, especially Milkman John Doe (Mackie). He is an old-fashioned delivery guy who lives his life on the road with his sweet Evelyn, a 2002 Subaru WRX.

John gets a task from Raven, the COO of New San Francisco that can potentially give him a “home.” He can become one of the “insiders” and take solace from the haunting questions about his family. Quiet (Beatriz) meets him on the road having recently suffered the trauma of seeing her brother kill himself to give her a chance in life.

Twisted Metal takes place over a 10-day period where Quiet and John have to travel East to New Chicago in order to complete Raven’s delivery. Like any classic game, each episode feels like a level with increasing difficulty and a distinct protagonist. This, however, is not disruptive in nature, as the story of Quiet and John – and other pivotal characters like Agent Stone and Sweet Tooth – continues developing in the background.

Season 1 opens its arms to the viewers and offers them a colourful insight into this new universe. The road-trip nature of the plot is a necessary evil but Twisted Metal transcends this. That may have something to do with plans to make this a multiple-season endeavour as opposed to just one standalone season. Given the rich fabric of characters and situations available to the show’s creators, it would be unfair to the viewers if they didn’t press ahead with a follow-on season.

You may be wondering if the show is for those unfamiliar with the game. The answer is an emphatic yes. In fact, if you have never heard of the game before, this may be an even more enriching and exciting journey for you. Twisted Metal is lighthearted in its treatment of the story which makes things very comfortable for the viewer. The show’s tone is simplistic with a lucid vision, so you don’t need to have played the game to understand this first season.

Each episode is roughly half an hour and that keeps things crisp. With so much variety in terms of characters and storylines, it is difficult to get bored of Twisted Metal. One downside, however, is the predictable nature of the writing. Many arcs are identifiable even before they begin. The execution is half-baked, almost as if the lack of follow-through on a potent buildup is intentional by routine.

There is consistency in how frustrated many episodes may leave you with the lack of evenness. That is indeed a downer and affects the overall experience. You can see where each line is going and how it will end. That being said, the show is still worthwhile. Aside from the formulaic writing, Twisted Metal does not have many other weaknesses. 

The characters have all the trappings of becoming a very prominent part of modern discourse and pop culture. Sweet Tooth, The Preacher, Mary, and Watts make for an eclectic and explosive bunch, all of whom might return if a second season happens. They are the life of Twisted Metal, seamlessly passing on the baton as John and Quiet’s journey progresses. Some of them do not have much screen time but the profile of performers chosen for them is indicative of a bigger role for them to play in possible follow-ups.

Twisted Metal features chunky action sequences that will leave you breathless. They are primarily characterized by big explosions and bullets flying all over the place. The soundtrack is paired well with the visuals and aesthetics. The creators have chosen the right songs for the hardcore action that unfolds without any hesitance and pullbacks.

Overall, Twisted Metal’s Season 1 is a commendable, no-nonsense adaptation meant for casual enjoyment. It lives up to the standards of modern-day television watching, even as it harbours a lingering lack of finesse in its craftsmanship. 

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  • Verdict - 6.5/10

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